How to troubleshoot an update installation by using log files in Office 2003


If a problem occurs with the installation of an update for Microsoft Office 2003, you may or may not receive a descriptive error message. In either case, using a log file can help you determine the exact error and to troubleshoot the issue.

This article discusses techniques for interpreting the information in the Office 2003 update files. The topics are listed in the order that you should use each technique. This article does not cover every situation that you may experience, but it discusses several examples where the update issue is resolved by interpreting a log file.


This step-by-step article describes how to use the log files that are created when you try to update Microsoft Office 2003 to help you determine the cause of an unsuccessful Microsoft Office update.

More Information

Locate the update log files

All client updates for Microsoft Office 2003 create log files in the following folder:
%Temp% is the environment variable that points to the temporary folder of the currently logged-in user profile. For example, this temporary file might be located in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp.

The log files have names that resemble the following names:
Note "#####" represents a number. These numbers start at 00001 and are incremented for each subsequent update. Therefore, if you run the same update again, or if you run a new update, the next pair of log files would be numbered 00002.

For each update that is installed, two log files are created. The first log file is created by the bootstrap Setup file Ohotfix.exe, and the second log file is created by Microsoft Windows Installer, the Msiexec.exe file. The pair of Setup and Windows Installer log files have the same number (#####) in their log files name, as in the following example:
Therefore, you can easily match the log files as part of the same installation.

Determine the correct update log file

If you installed more than one update, you cannot determine which log files belong to the most recent installation. Because the update log file names are similarly named, the best way to identify the most recent update log files is by the number (#####) in the log file names. The highest numbered pair belongs to the latest update installation.

The definitive way to identify the Office 2003 log files is to open the Ohotfix.exe log file, OHotfix(#####).log, and view the eighth line in the log file. By default, the log file contains a MessageTitle line that is similar to the following on the eighth line:
MessageTitle="Office 2003 Critical Update: KB828041"
The MessageTitle line contains the product, the version, and the reference for the update that is installed.

Note When you install an update from the Microsoft Office Update Web site, an installation log file is not created.

Setup Switches

If you are installing an update from the Microsoft Download Center, the switches for the update file are the standard IExpress package switches.

For more information about the command-line switches that you can use with software update packages that use IExpress technology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

197147 Command-line switches for IExpress software update packages

How to troubleshoot with log files

Reviewing a verbose log file is the best method to use for troubleshooting a failed Office update. Verbose logging is automatically enabled for the OHotfix(#####)_Msi.log file.

How to read the Ohotfix.exe log file

The Ohotfix.exe log file, OHotfix(#####).log, is a recommended place to start your troubleshooting. This file can indicate the following information:
  • The build and the version of Office that is being updated.

    The build is listed on a line that is similar to the following line:
    Product {90110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9} Microsoft Office Professional 
    Edition 2003 Version 11.0.5614.0: Needs patch.
    In this example, the build of Office that is being updated is 5614. Build 5614 is the original base version for Office 2003. If you see a build number that is lower than 5614, you cannot update the product because the base is required to install the update. (A lower build is considered a beta version of the product.)
  • The Windows Installer update packages (.msp) that are contained in the update that must be applied.

    When you apply an Office 2003 update, the Ohotfix.exe file examines your installed products and decides the update packages that must be installed (when the update contains multiple update packages). The following text from an Ohotfix.exe log file reveals that the single update package must be installed for Microsoft Office 2003 Critical Update: KB828041:

    Getting the patches...
    Getting the products to patch...
    Seeing if patch C:\DOCUME~1\<username>\LOCALS~1\Temp\IXP000.TMP\mso-Binary-GLB.msp is needed...
    Product {90110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9} Microsoft Office Professional Edition
    2003 Version 11.0.5614.0: Needs patch.
    The following text from a Ohotfix.exe log file reveals the update packages that must be installed for Office 2003 Critical Update: KB828041:

    Getting the patches...
    Getting the products to patch...

    Seeing if patch C:\Temp\IXP000.TMP\mso-Binary-GLB.msp is needed...
    Product {90110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9} Microsoft Office Professional Edition
    2003 Version 11.0.5614.0: Needs patch.
    Product {90170409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9} Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Version
    11.0.5614.0: Needs patch.
    Product {90110409-6000-11D3-8CFE-0150048383C9} Microsoft Office Professional Edition
    2003 Version 11.0.5614.0: Needs patch.

Logging success in the Ohotfix.exe log file

One of the most important parts of reading the Ohotfixe.exe log file is the following line:

The patch was applied successfully.
This line is followed by the following text:

The update was applied successfully.

Logging failures in the Ohotfix.exe log file

It is important to know what a failed installation looks like, in terms of the log file. If the update fails at any stage, you receive the following error message in the log file:
The update failed. 
This is followed by a line that contains an error number as in the following example:

Encountered error 1603 while updating.
In this example, the 1603 error number is equivalent to the following information:

ERROR_INSTALL_FAILURE 1603 Fatal error during installation.
The error number that is listed on this line is typically 1603 when the update process fails. Because the 1603 error is a generic failure error, you must open the corresponding Windows Installer log file, the OHotfix(#####)_Msi.log file, to obtain the exact error and then troubleshoot based on that error number. For more information about how to read Windows Installer log files, see the "Windows installer logging" section.

The line in the Ohotfix.exe log file can show error numbers other than 1603. You should examine the Windows Installer log file for any relevant information.

Windows installer logging

If you receive an error message during the update process, you must view the Windows Installer log file, for example, the OHotfix(0001)_Msi.log file. You can diagnose and solve many problems by locating the action or the failure that caused the error.

When you view a Windows Installer log file, you must use the same techniques as those that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

826511 How to use a setup log file to troubleshoot setup problems in Office 2003

How to create a log file when you update an administrative installation of Office 2003

Unlike the client updates, a log file is not created by default for updating administrative installations of Office 2003. To create a log file after you download and run the IExpress package to extract the administrative files, run the update with a command line that is similar to the following:
msiexec.exe /p [path\name of update MSP file]/a [path\name of MSI file] /qb /lv* [path\name of log file]
For more information about how to update an administrative installation of Office 2003, see the Distributing Office 2003 Product Updates topic on the following Microsoft Web site:


If you cannot understand the problem from the Ohotfix.exe file or from the Windows Installer log files, and you are still having problems updating your installation, try to repair the Office installation. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Click the Office 2003 program that you want to repair, and then click Change.
  4. In the Maintenance Mode Options dialog box, click Reinstall or Repair, and then click Next.
  5. In the Reinstall or Repair Office dialog box, click
    Detect and Repair errors in my Office installation, and then click Install.
  6. When the repair process is finished, run the public update again.

ID articol: 884290 - Ultima examinare: 8 mai 2012 - Revizie: 1